Sussex-based volunteer group, 4×4 Assist has been recognised for its community work as it becomes a Charity, registered with the Charity Commission.
The 50 strong team of responders offer support to the emergency services in their own vehicles during adverse weather and community incidents.
Co-founder of 4×4 Assist, Paul Gibson commented; “We’re absolutely delighted we’ve achieved this in under two years of forming the group. It’s a fantastic landmark for 4×4 Assist, we can now apply for essential funding to pay for responder training and equipment to further grow the group across Sussex.”
4×4 Assist was formed following an incident in May 2015 which saw thousands of Hailsham residents without mains water. During the outage, a small group used their training and vehicles to co-ordinate the distribution of water to the town, and delivered supplies to the local elderly, vulnerable and expectant mothers throughout the 48-hour period.
Since then, 4×4 Assist has been recruiting local volunteers with off-road vehicles to become trained drivers to help medical staff, local authorities and communities in adverse weather conditions, such as floods and snow and when emergency resources are stretched.
On joining, all responders are assessed by RoSPA Sussex and their vehicles undergo a strict maintenance regime to ensure safety and vehicle readiness. Volunteers are also put through a unique Ofqual Level 2 Emergency First Aid qualification which has been designed for the group and further expands their skills when helping during incidents.
4×4 Assist has agreements with NHS to transport staff and logistical equipment in adverse weather, and it’s also a member of the Sussex Resilience Forum which was formed to deal with community incidents in the county.
The group also offers marshalling and vehicle support services to large events and businesses during the year. 4×4 owners across the county are being urged to join 4×4 Assist to find out how they can help people in need during adverse weather.
For more information on the work of 4×4 Assist or to join, then please visit www.4x4assist.co.uk.